Where are they now: 10 years after vanishing, Cole Konrad is one of MMA’s greatest what-ifs

The saga of Cole Konrad has long been an obsession of mine. Or rather, how it ended and what happened afterward. The mystery and absurdity beneath it all.

I may be the only person under age 35 to feel that way, but I can’t help it. Because 10 years later, Konrad is still the unicorn. The undefeated champion who pulled off one of the sport’s great escapes. The 300-pound goliath who woke up one morning, tiptoed out the back door and vanished into thin air, never to be heard from again. Why? It’s a page of MMA lore that will forever read like a Mad Libs on meth: One of the most decorated American heavyweight wrestlers of his era, famously hailed by Brock Lesnar as “the strongest son of a b**** I’ve ever met,” yet he throws it all away overnight without even a look back?

Just to work in dairy??

“Cole Konrad was the toughest guy in the room. In Brock Lesnar’s room, with all the Minnesota wrestlers, he was the guy,” remembers longtime coach Erik Paulson. Continue reading at mmafighting.com →

The Guillotine – April 14, 2022

The April 14, 2022 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Deciding To Be Great - Cole Konrad | Lace 'Em Up | Camps-Clinics-Training | MWCA Report | Doing It On Their Own - Dennis Whitman and Medford Wrestling | The Guillotine High School Pound-For-Pound Class Rankings | View From The Matbird Seat | Officially Speaking | First-Time Wrestler, First-Time Champion - Apple Valley’s Grace Alagbo | Where Have They Gone? Brad Huckle | Ask The Doc | Performance Nutrition - What Do You Have With Your Eggs? | Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Awards.

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Deciding To Be Great – Cole Konrad

By Brian Jerzak

When former Wisconsin state champion, Gophers' national champion, and MMA champion Cole Konrad started wrestling as a child, he was immediately taken by the sport. Coming up through his feeder program and during his junior high and varsity career, he was a solid, reliable wrestler. After falling short of a state title his junior year of high school, a switch flipped in Konrad's mind.

"I decided I was sick of losing, so I wasn't going to do it anymore."

Konrad decided good wasn't good enough. He decided to be great. He took more losses during his career, but they were few and far between from then on.

"I started in a youth club in my hometown," Konrad said. "It was just what we did as kids. My dad and uncle wrestled in high school; they loved the sport, which led me to get involved. That got me wanting to be around it."

Konrad found enjoyment in the sport right away.

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Konrad to enter M Club Hall of Fame

Gopher Athletics Set to Induct 10 New Members into M Club Hall of Fame

The University of Minnesota’s M Club, one of the nation’s largest and oldest varsity letterwinner clubs, will induct 10 new Hall of Fame members on September 10, 2021, in an in-person ceremony on Williams Arena court. The individuals will be recognized throughout the weekend at various events, including the Sept. 11 home football game against Miami (OH). It marks the first hall of fame induction since 2018.

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The Guillotine – June 27, 2008

The June 27, 2008 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Beijing Olympics await Deitchler and Bernard | Lace ‘Em Up | Camps, Clinics, and Training | Officially Speaking | Deitchler steals show at Olympic Team Trials | Where Have They Gone? | Deitchler named to ASICS All-America 2nd Team | From Maroon and Gold to Red, White and Blue? | Where are they going? MN HS Recruits | STMA coach steps down after 28 years | Gophers earn trip to Junior World Championships | High School Career Records.

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The Guillotine – June 22, 2007

The June 22, 2007 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Lace ‘Em Up | MWCA President‘s Report | Ask the Doc | Where are they going? MN HS Recruits | Minnesota‘s Heavyweight Legacy | National Wrestling Hall of Fame | Where Have They Gone? | The View From the Matbird Seat | Career Records - Coaches | Career Records - Wrestlers | Camps, Clinics, and Training | Officially Speaking | Through the Eyes of Mom | MN/USAW Kids/Cadets State Tournament.

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The Guillotine – May 11, 2007

The May 11, 2007 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Lace ‘Em Up | Officially Speaking | Sanders Wins Schultz HS Excellence Award | Academic All-State | Sanders Named MWCA Mr. Minnesota | Bartelma Hall of Fame | Wrestling Camps, Clinics, and Training | Ask The Doc | USA Wrestling Senior Nationals | Hall of Fame Honors Seven | First Annual Golden Goldys | Wilkes SCSU Wrestler of the Year | Where Have They Gone? | Minnesota College All-Americans | Years Ago | Mayo Civic Center Hall of Fame | Through the Eyes of Mom | Gopher Team Awards | USA Wrestling Western Junior Regional | MN/USA Wrestling Juniors State | Northern Plains Junior Regional | Meyer named Jackrabbits‘ OW | NYWA State Tournament | USA Wrestling University Nationals.

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The Guillotine – April 12, 2006

The April 12, 2006 issue of The Guillotine has arrived! Content in this issue includes: Lace ‘em up | Baker wins NCAA DII Championship | Mavericks finish 5th, Vikings finish 7th | Big boost for city wrestling | Officially Speaking | 2006 Wrestling Camps, Clinics, and Training | Up on My Soap Box | 2006 Minnesotan College All-Americans | MWCA Awards | MWCA Academic Team | Gophers 2nd at NCAA DI Championships | RPW: Vision Part 2 | Team MN at NHSCA Championships | Ask The Doc | An example of character | Years Ago | Through the Eyes of Mom | RPW: Vision Part 3.

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